Scream Queens is the brainchild of Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, and Brad Falchuk who recently brought us Glee and American Horror Story and premiered on FOX last night. Here is a quick synopsis of the show;
Wallace University is rocked by a string of murders. Kappa House, the most sought-after sorority for pledges, is ruled with an iron fist (in a pink glove) by its Queen Bitch, Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts). But when anti-Kappa Dean Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) decrees that sorority pledging must be open to all students, and not just the school’s silver-spooned elite, all hell is about to break loose, as a devil-clad killer begins wreaking havoc, claiming one victim, one episode at a time. Part black comedy, part slasher flick, SCREAM QUEENS is a modern take on the classic whodunit, in which every character has a motive for murder… Or could easily be the next blood-soaked casualty.
While there will be obvious comparisons to Murphy’s other horror show American Horror Story, I found it to be a lot closer to Scream with a dash of Twin Peaks. FOX showed the first two episodes tonight and I found the show to be a bit underwhelming and off to a rocky start. I will say that there is a lot to like including the top-notch cast headlined by Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts. Other notable stand outs were Skyler Samuels and Glen Powell that really impressed even with the uneven script for the two episodes.
Overall the cast was the high point of the episodes but the real issue was the scripts. I will give the humor of the show did really help the show and the social media commentary was quite biting. The problem is how long can you drag the whole serial killer element on. This is where the Twin Peaks dilemma occurs. Twin Peaks revolved around the murder of Laura Palmer but what made the show was not necessarily finding the killer but the cast and the mystery of the town. Once the Palmer murder was solved the show didn’t know where to go with the stories. The question is how long will they drag this serial killer story out and if they resolve it, then what? That is where the dilemma of this show comes into play. Where Scream Queens really failed was the killer that seemed to kill way too many people to make rational sense for even keeping the school open. Yes I get horror shows and films have stupid elements but this was a little far-fetched.
If you compare it to Scream that also did the horror/humor element it only lasted for only 111 minutes. Scream Queens is currently 15 episodes. I was pretty board by the end of the second episode so it’s going to be a tough haul if the show continues at this pace and direction. While Murphy struck gold with American Horror Story with a reboot of each season the long-term for Scream Queens is more questionable after these first two episodes.
I still hold out hope for the show because I do think that the idea is not terrible but more poorly executed. The cast of the show is really top-notch and Roberts is quite the bitch and delivered her unrelenting bile on everyone that I dare say was delightful. I was also surprised of how they got away with the gore in the show considering that it on network television. While it was not as impressive as Hannibal and not nearly as well choreographed, it was quite well done.
So is the show worth watching? Well both yes and no. The biggest question is that will the scripts be able to pull out of the dive from these first two episodes. The second episode didn’t really add a lot more to the story and they both plodded along at times. I will give the writers that when the script was snappy it really worked well but I think that there were a real lack of scares considering that the show is supposed to be a horror show. There was not many scares or even much sense of danger. I will give the show a few more episodes for a final decision on if I should keep it or cut it. Overall not bad but not as good at it should have been.